Current Genetics

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 144–157

Isolation and characterization of rad51 orthologs from Coprinus cinereus and Lycopersicon esculentum, and phylogenetic analysis of eukaryotic recA homologs

Authors

  • Natalie Yeager Stassen
    • Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
  • J. M. Logsdon Jr.
    • Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
  • G. J. Vora
    • Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
  • Hildo H. Offenberg
    • Department of Genetics, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • Jeffrey D. Palmer
    • Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
  • M. E. Zolan
    • Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
ORIGINAL PAPER

DOI: 10.1007/s002940050189

Cite this article as:
Stassen, N., Logsdon Jr., J., Vora, G. et al. Curr Genet (1997) 31: 144. doi:10.1007/s002940050189

Abstract

In eubacteria, the recA gene has long been recognized as essential for homologous recombination and DNA repair. Recent work has identified recA homologs in archaebacteria and eukaryotes, thus emphasizing the universal role this gene plays in DNA metabolism. We have isolated and characterized two new recA homologs, one from the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus and the other from the angiosperm Lycopersicon esculentum. Like the RAD51 gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Coprinus gene is highly induced by gamma irradiation and during meiosis. Phylogenetic analyses of eukarotic recA homologs reveal a gene duplication early in eukaryotic evolution which gave rise to two putatively monophyletic groups of recA-like genes. One group of 11 characterized genes, designated the rad51 group, is orthologous to the Saccharomyces RAD51 gene and also contains the Coprinus and Lycopersicon genes. The other group of seven genes, designated the dmc1 group, is orthologous to the Saccharomyces DMC1 gene. Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analysis reveal extensive lineage- and gene-specific differences in rates of RecA protein evolution. Dmc1 consistently evolves faster than Rad51, and fungal proteins of both types, especially those of Saccharomyces, change rapidly, particularly in comparison to the slowly evolving vertebrate proteins. The Drosophila Rad51 protein has undergone remarkably rapid sequence divergence.

Key wordsCoprinus cinereusLycopersicon esculentumRAD51 homologsGene duplicationUnequal evolutionary ratesMolecular phylogeny

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997